Millwall try to BAN Sky Sports from screening their clash with Watford due to row over story on fans booing players who took the knee – and under-fire club are even prepared to give up £75,000 broadcast fee
- Sky Sports are due to broadcast Millwall’s December 29 game with Watford live
- But Millwall are moving to ban the broadcaster from The Den amid ongoing row
- Some fans booed players who took the knee before recent match with Derby
- Sky carried a website story ahead of QPR game saying Millwall players would still take a knee – but players instead held up an anti-discrimination banner
- Sky refused to amend the article, which has annoyed executives at Millwall
Millwall have moved to ban Sky Sports from televising their home game against Watford on December 29 amid an ongoing dispute with the broadcaster over their coverage of last week’s game with QPR.
The network showed live coverage of the Championship clash which took place last Tuesday amid furore stemming from the previous game against Derby at the Den, which saw supporters boo the now customary gesture of taking the knee before kick-off.
Sky Sports carried a story on their website in the lead up to the game against QPR, reporting that Millwall’s players would still take a knee – despite a joint statement from both clubs that players would not perform the gesture but instead hold up an anti-discrimination banner.
Millwall and QPR players took a stand against racism before their game last week following the controversy of some Millwall fans booing players taking the knee at their previous home game
A negative response from home supporters to Millwall players taking the knee ahead of their match against Derby the previous weekend caused huge controversy on Saturday
It is understood Millwall had denied the story to Sky Sports, but the broadcasting giants refused to amend the article, which infuriated Lions chiefs.
The issue has created tensions between Sky and Millwall, which has resulted in the south London club trying to prevent the the broadcaster for televising their game against Millwall.
Live coverage of the game is worth £75,000 to the club – but Millwall are prepared to forgo that fee.
The EFL are understood to be dealing with the issue on behalf of Millwall – and while the issue remains unresolved Millwall do not want to let Sky’s cameras in.
Millwall, who wore Kick It Out logos on their shirts for the QPR game, have been angered by an incorrect story on Sky’s website and are moving to ban the broadcaster
Sportsmail revealed on Sunday that Football League clubs have held talks about scrapping taking the knee before matches to distance themselves from the political connotations of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Meetings between the League (EFL) and their clubs last week discussed possible alternatives to the pre-match ritual to continue to show their support for the fight against racism such as anti-discrimination banners.
There are concerns the gesture has become conflated with the political organisation Black Lives Matter. Millwall and Colchester fans claimed this was why they booed as players took the knee last weekend.
The EFL are also keen to introduce an action that is adopted by all clubs across the leagues amid a growing divide between teams which still or have stopped taking the knee.
An anti-racism message was shown on the screens at The Den ahead of the QPR match, but Millwall players did not take the knee
Unlike the Premier League, in which all clubs have continued to perform the gesture before games this season, there have been weekends when more than half of EFL matches have seen no clubs do so.
The new gesture could be similar to the one performed by Millwall and QPR that saw both teams stand together in front of an anti-racism banner. Millwall and Middlesbrough did the same on Saturday while Luton and Preston’s players linked arms on the centre circle.
It is understood that whatever measures are introduced, the EFL still wants to support players who wish to continue to take the knee.
Taking the knee was adopted by clubs across the leagues during Project Restart to protest racism following the death of George Floyd in America in May. The gesture, which has origins in the slave trade and civil rights movement, came to the fore in the NFL in 2016 when Colin Kaepernick took the knee during the American national anthem.
Premier League clubs also wore Black Lives Matter logos on their shirts but insisted it was not an endorsement of the Marxist political organisation of the same name.
They replaced the logos for this season with ones that state No Room For Racism though Black Lives Matter is still shown on-screen during television broadcasts on Sky Sports.
Premier League clubs displayed the Black Lives Matter logo in their stadiums last season
This season the Premier League has replaced the BLM message with ‘No Room for Racism’
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